Tough Love (Stripped 0.50) - Page 1

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Tough Love

Skye Warren

Table of Contents


Title Page

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Thank You

Excerpt from Love The Way You Lie

Other Books by Skye Warren

About the Author


Chapter One

The moon sits high above the tree line. Somewhere beyond those woods is an electric fence. And beyond that is an entire city of people living and working and loving each other. I may as well be on the moon for how close I am to them.

A guard walks by my window at 10:05 p.m. Right on time.

I wait a few minutes until he’s out of earshot; then I flip the latch. From there it’s quick work to push up the pane with its bulletproof glass. I broke the lock a year ago. And almost every night since then I’ve sneaked down the ornate metal trellis—like a thief, stealing a moment to myself.

The grass is still damp from the rain, the ground beneath like a sponge, sucking me in. I cross the lawn, heart beating against my chest. I know exactly where the guards are on their rounds. I know exactly where the trip wires are that will set off the alarms. My father is too busy in his office to even glance outside.

The office I broke into this morning.

I breathe a sigh of relief when I reach the pool. I’m still out in the open, but the bright underwater lights make it hard to see anything on the patio. They make it hard to see me as I curve around the edge and reach the pool house.

The door opens before I touch the handle. “Clara,” comes the whisper.

I can’t help but smile as I slip into the dark. Giovanni always opens the door for me. It’s like some old-world chivalry thing, even though we’re just two kids sneaking around. At least, that’s how everyone treats me. Like a kid. But when I’m with him, I feel less like a girl, more like a woman.

He looks out the door for a beat before shutting and locking it. “Are you sure no one saw you?”

“You’re such a worrywart, Gio.” I let myself fall onto the couch, facing up.

“If your father ever found out…”

We’d be in so much trouble. My father is a member of the mob. Giovanni’s father is a foot soldier who works security on the grounds. Both our dads are seriously dangerous, not to mention a little unhinged. I can’t even think about how bad it would be if they caught us sneaking around after dark.

I push those thoughts away. “Did you bring it?”

Reluctantly, Giovanni nods. He gestures to the side table, where a half-full bottle of Jack Daniels gleams in the faint light. “Did you?”

Tags: Skye Warren Stripped Erotic